'Gomutra' boosts plant growth, says NBRI

LUCKNOW: An ancient Hindu ruler in late 600 AD claimed to have enhanced plant growth by spraying them with cow's urine. Nobody, however, believed it until modern science finally stepped in, in the year 2001.

And, on Saturday, the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) validated the ruler's claim by announcing that the bovine excrete, if sprayed in some specific concentration actually stimulated plant growth by working both as a pesticide and manure at the same time.

The institute's validation has also been upheld by the United States, which has granted the patent (patent number: US 2004/0248738 A1) to the institute.

Conducted by a team of scientists comprising institute director P Pushpangadan, besides CS Nautiyal and HB Singh at the NBRI, in collaboration with Gau Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra (GVAK), Nagpur, the experiments showed that the latent growth potential in plants was spruced when they were sprayed with a mixture comprising cow's urine, neem, and garlic.

"We have validated our traditional wisdom. This has to be strengthened further, especially in case of developing countries," said Pushpangadan while talking to reporters here on Saturday.

He informed that the experiment began in the year 2001 and continued till 2004. The patent, was subsequently filed in 2004, which was then scanned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and was then granted to the institute in late 2005.

On their part, the NBRI scientists also consistently acknowledge the works of GVAK. "They have been providing the clues for all what we have achieved," maintains HB Singh, a key member of the team.

He hailed the kendra as being a 'prior craft' in the 'inventions' that scientists have been able to make by serendipitously working over a period of more than three years.

The GVAK too sounds upbeat and claims of providing some more breakthrough. This includes 'Jal Amrit', a mixture of cowdung and water.

Earlier also, the GVAK has won the patent rights for producing medicines derived from bovine excrete in the name of 'Kamdhenu Gomutra Ark'.

Sunil Mansighka, a scientist at GVAK hails the product as a way to enhance organic farming, which is dearly needed in the country.

"There have been instances when poor farmers have committed suicide after their crops failed in the absence of much needed fertilisers, most of them chemicals. But in this case, said Mansinghka, the product can be produced at home and of course very cheaply.

However, what really frustrates the scientists is the apathy on the part of people of not using cow milk as a major feed. Even the government seems least bothered, alleged the scientists.

Source: The Times of India